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Archaeological mission finds hundreds of sealed jars in tomb of Merit-Neith

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An Egyptian-German-Austrian archaeological mission conducting excavations at the tomb of Merit-Neith have uncovered hundreds of sealed ceramic jars.

Merit-Neith, meaning “Beloved by Neith”, was a consort and regent during the first dynasty. Despite her name not being included in the king lists from the New Kingdom, Merit-Neith may have been the first female pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.

She is linked with the kings Djer, Djet and Den in a variety of seal impressions and inscribed bowls, suggesting that Merit-Neith was the mother of Den and the wife of Djet.

Archaeologists have been excavating her tomb in the Umm al-Qaab area in Abydos, Egypt, which was first discovered in 1900 by Flinders Petrie. Excavations by Petrie uncovered a large underground chamber which was surrounded by rows of small satellite burials, and at least 40 subsidiary graves for servants

The latest archaeological mission has discovered hundreds of sealed jars, in which the team have identified traces of wine that dates from 5,000-years-ago.

A thriving royal winemaking industry was established around 3000 BC in the Nile Delta, when grape cultivation from the Levant was introduced to Egypt. This industry first emerged through trade connections between Egypt and Canaan during the early Bronze Age.

Dr. Dietrich Rau, Director of the German Institute in Cairo, said: “The excavation work in the tomb also succeeded in revealing new historical information about the life of Merit-Neith and the period of her reign.”

The team found tablets inside the tomb with inscriptions that describe Merit-Neith being responsible for central government offices, further supporting the belief that Merit-Neith ruled with the position of pharaoh.

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

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Archaeologists may have discovered the lost city of Tu’am

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Excavations in the Umm Al Quwain area of the UAE have revealed 6th century ruins that could be the lost city of Tu’am.

The ruins are situated on Al Sinniyah Island, part of a collection of small islands on the western part of the Khor Al Bidiyah peninsula.

Previous studies on the island have revealed a pearling village and monastery, which has been the focus of the latest season of excavations.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a larger settlement, with the earliest signs of occupation dating back to the 4th century AD and peaking in the 5th or 6th century.

The team uncovered traces of large semi-urbanised tenement buildings measuring 30 square metres, which are tightly packed around narrow walkways. According to the researchers, the settlement could be the lost city of Tu’am as described in Ancient Arab texts.

Tu’am was a regional capital on the Gulf coast that was famed for its pearl fishing industry and trade in precious gems.

The population went into decline following a plague and regional tensions, and subsequently was abandoned. Mass graves in the vicinity support the historical account of plague, as the skeletal remains show no evidence of trauma or a violent death.

“Our archaeological work has discovered the largest settlement by far ever found on the Gulf coast of the Emirates,” said Prof Tim Power of UAE University.

“And it’s exactly the right period for the city described in the early Islamic geographical sources. It’s clearly a really important place. No one has ever found it.”

Professor Power explained that while they have not found irrefutable evidence (such as an inscription bearing the town’s name), no other major settlements from this period have been discovered on the coast, strengthening the argument that the settlement is Tu’am. “It’s a process of elimination,” he explained.

Header Image Credit : Umm Al Quwain Department of Tourism and Archaeology

Sources : NUAE

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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New findings in North America’s first city

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Cahokia was the largest urban settlement of the Mississippian culture, a mound-building pre-Columbian civilisation that emerged in the Midwestern, Eastern, and South-eastern United States.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the city was founded around AD 1050 along the banks of the Mississippi River, located near present-day St. Louis, Missouri.

The city covered an area between six to nine square miles (notably larger than many contemporary European cities such as London) and was home to up to 20,000 inhabitants at its peak.

Following the tradition of the Mississippian culture, the people of Cahokia constructed large earthen mounds – ranging from raised platforms, conical, and ridge-top designs – involving the movement of 55 million cubic feet of earth over a period that lasted several decades.

The largest mound is known as “Monks Mound,” named after a group of Trappist monks, which rises to a height of 290 metres and was once the tallest building construction in North America.

Image Credit : MattGush – iStock

Archaeologists and students from Saint Louis University (SLU) have recently conducted a series of excavations on the western periphery of the Cahokia Mounds.

The team unearthed 900-year-old ceramics, microdrills, structures, and wall trenches dating from around AD 1100 to 1200, during the Sterling Phase of the Mississippian Period. According to the archaeologists, the finds offer new insights into a crucial period in the chiefdom’s development, coinciding with Cahokia’s rapid population growth.

The excavations follow an aerial survey by SLU and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to conduct Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to determine whether further mounds or archaeological features lie within the acres of thick forests and swampy land near the site’s main complex.

Header Image Credit : Alamy

Sources : KSDK

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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